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Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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Infidel (2007)

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,7961712,035 (4.2)211
  1. 30
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    krazy4katz: A perspective on women's place in Islam from a modern, western muslim woman who experiences life in Saudi Arabia. Her ideas about the Koran are polar-opposite.
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    howelson: Another strong woman. Mende Nazar survives slavery in Africa and the United Kingdom.
  3. 10
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    krazy4katz: This book has a similar view of Islam, and is also a very intense perspective of life in a culture that does not permit diverse thought.
  4. 10
    Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: How each woman, in two different religions, escaped from the binding expectations of her own religion's fervent religious requirements and expectations. Both are excellent autobiographies.
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    Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq (Anonymous user)
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» See also 211 mentions

English (161)  Dutch (4)  Danish (3)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (171)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Infidel is a memoir by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is a recollection of her childhood as a member of the Islam faith and her eventual denouncement of Islam as a whole. The book is fascinating and enlightening at turns and powerfully moving. It also shows me that of all the things I could be, I am glad I am not a woman in a Muslim society. Apparently, if you have a uterus you get treated like a dog or a pile of garbage.

Throughout the book, Ali muses on a number of things related to faith and Islam. She discusses how she was a faithful member of the faith until she started thinking for herself. She moves to Holland to avoid marrying a man she barely knows and does not like. Basically, he’s an ignoramus. He has a number of other problems too, but I won’t go into them.

Once she gets to Holland she has a massive culture shock, and this further allows her to think for herself. The big thing that propelled her out of Islam was the September 11 attacks. She felt that the Quran was just a book and not actually divinely inspired. Her father disowns her and curses her. Plus, since she helped out with this movie called Submission, she gets death threats and all that. Now, this is an interesting idea, I could not imagine having someone want to kill me for a stupid reason, but she takes it in stride. Consider the fact that death is constantly at your doorstep in such a society, from disease or poor health to angry overlords that just don't like you.

Islam has an interesting dynamic. I acknowledge that they saved the works of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers. I also acknowledge that they invented the Hindu-Arabic numeral system and had a number of luminaries in thought and science. I realize that the Arab peoples and Islam as a whole did a lot. However, the question becomes, what have they done lately? They seem to be caught in the past, reveling in their former glories. This becomes even clearer when they go to more affluent countries. Rather than integrating they play the system. In any case, I have no right to pass judgment on society as a whole. I don’t really have anything else to say about this one, but I found it very informative and moving. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Every religion has multiple implementations.
I'm seeing alot of reviews which take one side or the other in criticizing this book for its approach to Islam, but I note that since she is originally from Somalia, her experience of Islam may have been one of a very conservative implementation, as my experience of Islam in Turkey was quite different.

Every religion, from Islam to Christianity/Catholicism/LDSMormonism to Judiasm, Hinduism and Buddism, has various streams and implementations. I've not seen many reviews that make the distiinction between the types of Islam practiced in Somalia and the practices in other areas/countries.

More after I read it...
Shira
13 November, 12016 HE
(the Holocene Calendar)
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
Every religion has multiple implementations.
I'm seeing alot of reviews which take one side or the other in criticizing this book for its approach to Islam, but I note that since she is originally from Somalia, her experience of Islam may have been one of a very conservative implementation, as my experience of Islam in Turkey was quite different.

Every religion, from Islam to Christianity/Catholicism/LDSMormonism to Judiasm, Hinduism and Buddism, has various streams and implementations. I've not seen many reviews that make the distiinction between the types of Islam practiced in Somalia and the practices in other areas/countries.

More after I read it...
Shira
13 November, 12016 HE
(the Holocene Calendar)
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a remarkable woman and Infidel is a brave and compelling narrative. While reading the book, I thought of many things to say about it, but now I am left speechless. It is an autobiography that reads like a novel and a book that challenges your ideas and even your worldview. I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this book... I will reflect upon its ideas for quite a while. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
Interesting and at times moving with a sporadic harshness that can be unsettling...but hey, that's reality for you. Like many books of its kind, there is a tendency to quicken the pace towards the end so that it becomes mostly a listing of events, or of places she was carted off to. It does make more of an effort to tie itself back to earlier portions of her story at the end, however. Hard to rate. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hirsi Ali, Ayaanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hitchens, ChristopherForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Abeh, Ma, Ayeeyo (Grandma), Mahad
And in loving memory of Haweya
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One November morning in 2004, Theo van Gogh got up to go to work at his film production company in Amsterdam.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743289692, Paperback)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, her coming-of-age memoir, which spent thirty-one weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of today’s most admired and controversial political figures. She burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened she would be next; and she made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and forced to resign from the Dutch Parliament.

Infidel shows the coming of age of this elegant, distinguished—and sometimes reviled—political superstar and champion of free speech—the development of her beliefs, iron will, and extraordinary determination to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Raised in a strict Muslim family, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female circumcision, brutal beatings, an adolescence as a devout believer, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four countries under dictatorships. She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam, earning her the enmity of reactionary Islamists and craven politicians.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her life story. An advocate for free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised.

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